This will be a future post, but I am writing it at the beginning of November. I have stuffs on my mind, and I want to put it down, but I’m not ready to share it with the world, yet.
We have (essentially) decided that in the Dogbacle of last August, we were entirely too hasty and panic-stricken to accurately have judged the new situation and reacted irrationally.
Several things were at play:
1) Ridiculous anxiety on my part. My brain just kind of shut down and I just felt horrible. I was jittery and antsy and…afraid of the dog? I don’t know. I couldn’t stop the cycle once it had started. I felt horribly guilty that Mike was taking on most of the burden as I was pretty useless.
2) The island–we both were feeling prideful and like we could do this ourselves and didn’t need help. GOOD LORD I NEEDED HELP. But I felt like I had brought it on myself and I had to take care of it for myself.
3) Exhaustion. We were up every few hours with the dog to take her out (altho she wasn’t making any noises). We had read they could only hold it for as many hours as they were months old (eg. she was 3 months old, therefore could only hold it for 3 hours) and were trying to be dutiful and take her out.
4) Perfection. I did too much reading and preparing and daydreaming. Expectations had nowhere to go but down.
It’s been several days since I wrote the above. It’s been really busy at work the last week, as my coworker has been on vacation, so I’ve been trying to do what I can of her job as well as mine. That involved a lot of running up and down the hill with “the bucket” (it’s an AT&T telecom bucket full of networking gear like punchdowns, cable crimpers, flashlights, cables, pens, etc) and lighting ports for people.
In the intervening days, one of my fellow IT people in a nearby building got a puppy and has been bringing it to work every day. Hang on, let me go get my phone, there are pictures.
She’s a tiny 10 week old golden retriever. So soft and fluffy and such sharp teeth!
The point? Oh, she’s helped me realize that being around a dog doesn’t have to be a crazy anxiety reaction. I felt nothing but love and fluff when she was around. She is even younger than Penny was when we brought her home in August. So I’ve been asking her dad every day, “how did last night go?”, knowing that nights are the roughest. And each day, he’d respond that it was worse than the night before, that she was crying and up and he had been up every hour. But on night #4, the clouds parted and she went right to sleep and only whined when she needed out.
I know it’s dumb, but it gives me kind of a mental benchmark. Like, well, after 4 days it might get better. It’s going to be an adjustment, but we are going to bring Penny back. She turned 6 months on Nov 10.
We are trying to mitigate any factors we can. I went to my doctor to talk about anxiety. My parents are going to go out with me to pick her up and then we’re going to go back to my parents’ in OC for a couple days. I kind of like this idea, because that was where I last lived with a dog. It’ll give us a couple days to get familiar with her before bringing her back down to SD. Mike’s mom is flying in for Thanksgiving on that Tuesday, and we intend to come back to SD on Weds. We are going to have Thanksgiving here, with our new dog.
I had gone back and forth about getting one of those Marie Callender’s boxed dinners vs. cooking myself, but talking with Mike last night made me realize that I don’t want that additional stress. It will be easier for both of us to use the box dinner thing. Plus, the box that it comes in is pretty sweet.
On the Penny front, her breeder reports that she is now around 35 lbs. This is a lot larger than her 12 lbs in August! I kind of feel like I missed her growing up, but I know she is still a puppy. Just a really big puppy.
I don’t have much to add to this now, but maybe later.